This magnificent hardstone (pietra dura) tabletop is notable for the geometric design and central alabaster oval flanked by roundels of marble (breccia di Tivoli). These features are typical of Rome in the years around 1600 and distinguish the tabletop from Florentine examples. Four lapis lazuli bolts hold in place the strapwork cartouches that recall forged iron. The severity of the inner decoration seems to translate jewelry designs from contemporary pattern books while the border of wild animals, blossoms emitting seeds like strings of pearls, leafy scrollwork and floral sprays includes motifs derived from ancient Roman mosaics.
Patrick Valentine , Oconomowoc, Wisconsin ; Mr. and Mrs. Francis J. Trecker (until 1962; to MMA)
Artist: Designed by Jacopo [Giacomo] Barozzi da Vignola (Italian, Vignola 1507–1573 Rome)Date: ca. 1565–73Medium: Marble of different colors, semiprecious stones, Egyptian alabaster, residue of paint of different colors on the piersAccession: 58.57a–dOn view in:Gallery 503
Artist: Design attributed to the architect Niccolo Michetti (Italian, died 1759)Date: ca. 1715Medium: Walnut and poplar; iron hinges and locks, metal wire; antique silk and linen brocatelle door curtains (not original)Accession: 69.292.1On view in:Gallery 551